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Products For A Greener Future

3/30/2009 02:01:00 AM Eastern


EcoRoute is a free software download for Garmin Nuvi 205 and 705 series personal navigation devices that tracks fuel usage and helps calculate the most fuel-efficient routing. The Nuvi 205 and 705 series are currently shipping at prices from $169 to $599.

iGo’s laptop charger features the company’s Green Technology, which is billed as using 80 percent less standby power than standard power products. The company said it “virtually eliminates vampire power” and comes with automatic shut-off and recovery. An AC/DC version will be available for a $139 suggested retail, while an AC-only version will be offered for $109. Both are scheduled to be available Oct. 1.

The SL785 from Gigaset is an ECO-DECT cordless that consumes up to 60 percent less energy than previous versions. A dedicated ECO Mode button lets users cut the base’s transmitting power by up to 80 percent. When the handset is charging, transmission power is shut completely. It is shipping this month for $189.

Sears’ Kenmore Elite HE5t steam laundry pair represents the third generation of the high-efficiency, Whirlpool-made platform. The washer uses 77 percent less water and 81 percent less energy in a normal cycle than a conventional machine manufactured before 2004, Sears said, and will pay for itself in 10 years doing 12 loads a week. The units retail for $1,500 each.

Samsung’s 7000 series LCD TVs incorporate an LED backlight array that reduces power draw levels over traditional CCFL designs while increasing contrast and color performance. Models n the series will be offered later this year in the 40-,-46- and 52-inch screen sizes at prices to be announced later.

The Toshiba Portege R600, starting price $2,100, was designed from the ground up to be eco-friendly. It is Energy Star 4.0 compliant and has a gold rating from EPEAT, and many of its components and packaging are green.

Nextar is offering two solar-powered Bluetooth kits, including the NXBT-002. It allows hands-free calling from a cellular phone and charges itself via solar power, or it may be charged via the cigarette lighter. It has six days of standby time and six hours of talk-time, and it displays caller ID names on the LCD screen. It is expected to ship in May at a suggested $69.99.

Sony’s VE5 Eco TV series of LCD HDTVs, which is slated to ship in July at prices to be announced, uses a hot cathode fluorescent lamp backlighting system, motion sensors and a complete power-shut-off system to produce one of the company’s most power-efficient LCD TVs to date.





Western Digital’s My Book is part of its GreenPower Family that the company says uses consumes between 4 to 5 watts or 40 percent less power then a normal drive. This equates to a CO2 reduction of 13.8 kilograms per year.

Nokia’s 7205 Intrigue features a hidden-until-lit external display and is available through Verizon Wireless with several green features, including a built-in reminder to unplug the charger from the wall when the phone is fully charged. The device also ships with a low no-load charger to reduce energy use, and its packaging is made from 100 percent recyclable materials. The phone is available for $129 after a $50 mail-in rebate and two-year Verizon Wireless service contract.

An energy-monitoring application for Crestron’s touch panels lets commercial buildings and large residences monitor energy consumption and carbon emissions from HVAC and lighting use over a period of days, weeks and years. From the touch panels and PCs, users can monitor, manage and control all environmental systems, such as lighting, HVAC and shades (plus A/V). The app is free to dealers and programmers.

Installers can connect a home–A/V system to a Home Automation system that also automatically shuts off A/V systems when no one is home. The $399-suggested Home Theater Extender (HTE) features IR and serial-port connections that can be controlled from Home Automation touchscreens networked to the HTE via Ethernet. The HTE can be networked to security systems and motion sensors to automatically turn off the A/V equipment when the house is empty.

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